December sewing: floor cushion, madras tote

I did very little sewing for Christmas other than holiday attire.  Once I counted the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I pared my list down to two projects, both for December birthdays.

First, a Made By Rae floor cushion for my nephew’s birthday.  I’ve been saving fabric scraps for some time to make this pattern.  This is a big pillow and it takes a lot of scraps (I think I used at least four grocery-size bags).  The scraps give the pillow a nice, sturdy feel but they are also heavy.  So I altered layers of fabric with layers of polyfil for the stuffing.

floor cushion : lizzieville 1floor cushion : lizzieville 4The fabric loop for the sides ended up too long and I had to take it in a few times.  This may have been a measuring error- I didn’t go back and check.  I also had a heck of a time with the piping.  It was my first time using piping with cording.  If it’s your first time I might suggest making the bias tape even wider than the revised recommendations.  Next time I’ll try 1 3/4 inches.  I have enough scraps to make another one for my kids.  I might scale down the size of the pillow so it’ll store easier.  Before wrapping this up my kids had so much fun sitting on this and flopping onto it and climbing around.  Hours of fun, for sure.floor cushion : lizzieville 3

My other project was for my dear college friend’s birthday  She is a cat lover so I knew I wanted to use this Lizzy House catnap fabric.  I considered various Noddlehead patterns (as Anna is the queen of bags) and finally settled on the (free) Madras Tote.

madras tote : lizzieville 1madras tote : lizzieville 2

I didn’t want to use the print on the outside because I figured it would show dirt too easily.  I eventually landed on some denim and plaid, which seemed appropriate given the bag’s name.  The playful cat print is hidden inside.  The pattern calls for cotton canvas as interfacing but I used a cotton/linen blend instead.  I also made handles with the denim fabric rather than use webbing.  I’ve made a couple more complicated bags but I really love this one for its simplicity.  It is very sturdy, takes no special materials, and is an easy sew.madras tote : lizzieville 3

madras tote : lizzieville 4Making this bag reminded me how fun and satisfying bag sewing can be.  Hopefully it will get lots of good use.  And now, off to make some year-end photo collages.

8 thoughts on “December sewing: floor cushion, madras tote

  1. What great projects! The cushion is so pretty and E looks lovely wearing the dress you made her, sitting on it. I love the bag too. I owe my niece a book bag and have had a difficult time deciding on a pattern. I think you sold me on that one.

    • She does love that library dress! Although you can kind of see in the picture that the hem has pulled out in one place. So sad…. but it will just have to stay that way, I guess. And I think you’ll like this bag pattern- it should be pretty quick to whip up!

  2. The bag is stunning! I’ve already received countless compliments — and it hasn’t even left the house yet! It will be making its inaugural trip outside tomorrow for the museum…
    What a treat to have such a talented friend 🙂

    • I’m so glad that you liked it! One of my first projects of 2015 is to make a bag for myself and I’m pretty excited! Now to just pick out the fabrics. Happy 2015 to you!

  3. both such lovely gifts! Love the plaid fabric you chose for your tote bag, and I’m always a sucker for denim so it’s the perfect bag! Hope your friend loves it:)

    • Thank you, Lucinda! This friend is always supportive of my creative endeavors so I enjoy making this for her! She’s an artist so I think she gets it, if you know what I mean. I’ve stopped making gifts for some people because it just didn’t seem worth the time and effort.

  4. two lovely gifts! we have a good time with that floor cushion over here, you should definitely make one to keep! i had the same problem with the piping though, pretty sure it was a typo 🙂

    • Man, getting that piping attached felt like a wrestling match! I’m not one for swearing, but there was definitely some swearing (and seam ripper action) involved. I noticed your floor cushion in your last post. I should definitely get ours made. O has taken to climbing everything. Maybe a nice cushion would be a good distraction.

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